College students do most things in excess. They sleep for hours and hours, or not at all. They skip meals during the day only to eat a pizza at midnight. They put off studying until they must cram. Drinking is no different. The goal is not to sip and savor but to gulp and turn up. In a college environment, it’s newsworthy, then, for people not to participate in that lifestyle. University of Pennsylvania student Manola Gonzalez found a range of sources to talk to about their drinking habits. Some don’t drink at all. Others waited till they were legal and then drank only a little. The reporter found a range of approaches to alcohol at Penn and included many points of view in her reporting, which was thorough. The article’s glaring flaw — the number of anonymous sources — also provides an unexpected takeaway: Is not drinking in college so socially crippling that students don’t want to be identified as non-drinkers?
Get the Longreads Weekly Email
Success! You're on the list.
Whoops! There was an error and we couldn't process your subscription. Please reload the page and try again.